President Lungu’s “Nkandla” may be Legal but raises moral questions

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Green Party leader Peter Sinkamba
Green Party leader Peter Sinkamba

Green Party President Peter Sinkamba says the much-talked about President Edgar Lungu’s homestead in Swaziland may be legal but largely raises moral questions.

Asked to comment on the issue yesterday upon arrival from Burkina Faso where he went to attend the 4th African Greens Federation Congress, Mr. Sinkamba said the law which regulates gifts is largely targeted at Members of Parliament, Ministers and procurement officers and not the Republican President. He said there appears to be a grey area because neither the Constitution nor other statutes prescribe the sort of gifts that the President could receive.

“Take for instance MPs and Ministers, the sort of gifts they receive is prescribed under Section 4 of the Parliamentary and Ministerial (Code of Conduct) Act of 1994. The provision bars MPs and ministers from soliciting or accepting transfers of economic benefit, other than benefits of nominal value, including customary hospitality and token gifts. However, we do not have a similar code of conduct for the president,” Mr. Sinkamba said.

“Perhaps, the much-talked about ‘Nkandla’ for President Lungu in Swaziland is a wake-up call for legislators to prescribe a similar code of conduct for the Office of the President not to leave that to the Constitution,” he said.

“You see, the Constitution should l provides key principles. The nitty-gritty issues are prescribed by Acts of Parliament. For this reason, neither Articles 91 nor 92 of the Constitution do touch on issues of gifts. The only question that may arise is on principles of Executive authority per Article 90. It would be interesting to know whether when he received the offer of land in Swaziland the President did exercise Executive authority in a manner compatible with the principles of social justice and for the people’s well-being and benefit but this again is a matter of interpretation,” the Green Party leader said.

Asked to comment on the issue of a child which President Lungu is alleged to have in Swaziland, Mr. Sinkamba said conjectures and speculation are dangerous to the nation.

“During his days as President, Dr. Kaunda called it ‘Kachepa’. Those with facts should produce evidence and not feed the nation with conjectures and speculation because this is a danger to the nation. In any case, it is traditionally incorrect to discuss family issues of elders in public,” he added.

“You see, Zambia subscribes to both English law and customary law. Only traditional acts that contravene the Bill of Rights, or inconsistent with other provisions of the Constitution or other written law; or are repugnant to justice and morality are outlawed by the Constitution of Zambia. In this regard, it would be helpful to be factual on the issue and thereupon extrapolate on the act to show how it contravenes the Bill of Rights or other provision of the Constitution and law, including issues of morality,” he said.

“That is why I have always discouraged my fellow leaders to minimise or indeed stop attending traditional ceremonies or cultural events in official capacity. Depending on the cultural orientation of particular communities, so much happens. And when you are an official guest you have to participate in rituals of that community otherwise, it appears to them as if you are discourteous. Take for example we the Mambwes and Lungus of Mbala, we have a cultural event called Mutomolo.

“The climax of Mutomolo requires that the official guest leads the participants in sampling traditional brews and a variety of traditional foods. If the official guest does not ordinarily drink beer, he or she has no option but sample the traditional beer on that occasion otherwise it appears as an insult to the kinsmen. Elsewhere, the sampling is on different issues,” Mr Sinkamba said.

“I remember in the 1980s during Dr. Kaunda’s reign, one Minister of culture went to officiate at a cultural event in Eastern Province. The tradition at that event is that the official guest is given a virgin and this Minister had no option but take-away one on his back. The event hit headlines in all public media as a moral issue but Dr. Kaunda did nothing because it was a cultural issue. At the time, AIDS was not an issue. So to avoid finding oneself in a compromised situation, the remedy is to avoid going to such events in official capacities in the first place,” he added.

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28 COMMENTS

  1. Sinkamba providing a well-researched response, as he always does. He is undoubtedly the most articulate and a well-read politician we have in Zambia

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    • I was offered a girl to marry back in village, as appreciation for my well behavior.
      I talked to her mother I said, mayo mwanchindika, but no thank you.
      She said don’t get as a wife, just give her a baby.
      Up to now I never undressed her, unlike some people.
      Baby Lungu listen milk Shinkamba.

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    • @ The Chosen One
      Yes indeed he is the most balanced of our opposition “leaders” although, in the last paragraph, he has unwittingly (Freudian Slip) confirmed the rumour that ECL sampled a maiden at the last reed dance and possibly sired a child with her. But this would in no way justify the unfolding scandal of the “Gift”.

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    • In short you are saying HH & his UPND surrogates should learn how to research before they open they stinking annus.HH behaves as if he has not done research methodology and @ masters level for that matter.Anyone with HH’s master thesis?Also I want PHD research paper for Mushota.

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    • The last sentence in my up comment is the computer guess of bemba words, so annoying.

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    • it’s so painful to see how BRAIN-DAMAGED PF00Ls will continue to defend this thief.

      The house is NOT a gift from King Mswati but a BRIBE from a private road contractor, Inyatsi Roads, with govt contracts in Zambia. Times of Swaziland has already investigated & even went to title deeds office.

      wwwDOTtimesDOTcoDOTsz/news/118337-pres-lungu-to-build-house-at-nkonyeniDOThtml

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    • Today the selfsame people who laugh at this guy as chamba man are shamelessly praising him…

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    • Well spoken with good points to support his stance on this issue.

      Peter Sinkamba the most articulate, most reasonable and sound minded leader in the opposition.

      This is why I left PF to join Green Party! Whereever I go across Zambia I make it a point to promote our Party the Green Party!

      A liberal minded party yet sensitive to the traditions and norms of the nation with a leader who can empathise and truelly cares for the majority of poor struggling Zambians and Zambians of all tribes!

      Vote Green in 2021!

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  2. Quite interesting that Sinkamba seems to be the most intelligent of the opposition leaders. Whilst the main opposition is thinking this is fodder for their impeachment motion, Sinkamba cites the deficiencies of the Constitution on this issue and shows that actually this may just be a moral rather than legal issue and thus throwing us to the issue of the Constitution Amendment. With regard to the rumor about ECL’s child, Sinkamba does a good job to educate all that similarly HH’s parentage should not be an issue for discussion in all fairness.

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  3. Lungu has no morals or principles nor does he care…….he is the only leader , with kabila , who don’t mind being called corrupt theives….

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  4. Flawed constitution or not KK exhibited high moral standards that anything offered and received while on official national duty belonged to the Zambian people. Here it is utter greediness and trying to justify using omissions and loopholes in the law with what the country can do for leaders!

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  5. In short president Lungu can own the property. Moving on, let us build the Zambian economy.

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  6. It’s neither a moral nor a legal issue! There are no Laws and no morals in Zambia!

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  7. Sinkamba’s response is not helping us the Zambians rather he is simply protective of the thief. This thief and foreigner has indeed plundered our resources within a short space of time he has been at State House.

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  8. Maloza you are very wise Sinkamba is talking nonse i was wondering how dul Zambians are. The issue is not much more about the gift from Muswati, its about the PF President getting money from a construction company that the Zambian government had given a contract. Thats fraud and typical corruption. Thats the issue Zambians should be debating. I have never seen a country with dumb people like Zambia. They cant even understand the implication of the issue but instead they think in terms of which party one belongs to. If its true rhe President must be brought to book on a serious note on issues of corruption.

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    • flag Alternative Facts Fake News S**thole Countries Social Mobility Chinese Zambia Police Reservists

      Agreed with you mate… read my comment below at #14. Unfortunately Zambians’ average IQ is to the South of 50, which is quite sad. This type of corruption would never happen in progressive countries where the citizens’ average IQ to the north of said 50.

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  9. Thanks Green Sinkamba, for me you have always been the best opposition leader by far. Aba amudala a under five h.h mwandi kuwayawaya fye, his objectives are tribal right from his beginning as a “politician”. Ackson Sejani did not speak in vain about upnd to he led by a tonga only, which by extension means Zambua to be oed by a tonga. Nothing wrong being tonflga, very nice people actually but the ones leading upnd are just bad news spoiling the good name of most tongas that I know as personal friends and relatives.
    On the national political scene, I would propose that Green Peter Sinkamba is adopted by PF to lead the party at some point, otherwise it is headed for extinction.
    Of course PF’s extinction is not the door for h.h and upnd, they will soon go into extinction anyway,…

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  10. ……
    Of course PF’s extinction is not the door for h.h and upnd, they will soon go into extinction anyway, useless as they have proved beyond doubt.

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  11. Sinkamba is the man only that well-balanced characters like him rarely make it to plot one. You are one of a kind Eric.

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  12. Sinkamba is wrong and he is confusing himself here, trying to sound smart… there is no ‘grey area’ here at law. This issue is adequately covered by current corruption laws that you can’t receive ‘kick backs’ disguised as ‘gift’ through corruption. First the Swaziland Times has confirmed that Lungu was never given any ‘gift’ by the Kingdom of Swaziland, the land is or was owned by a private company who have lucrative contracts in Zambia. It is obviously the company gave Lungu the land as a bribe or kickback for these contracts that were given to this same company corruptly.

    And yes even if it was given to him as a ‘gift’ he is right on the moral issue… and it is common sense that a president can’t receive a gift in his capacity as a president and then acquire it for his personal gain…

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    • flag Alternative Facts Fake News S**thole Countries Social Mobility Chinese Zambia Police Reservists

      …It appears like it was never given to him as a personal gift from the documents we have seen so far (even the plans say ‘President’).

      And I won’t comment on the traditional and love child issue as I know nothing about it.

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  13. Please learn to use protection whenever you are given things to sample. Pregnancy results from unprotected sex. No wonder HIV has continued to ravage our communities.

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  14. Weed does wonders to Sikamba always on point. The man is full of data. Legalize chamba smoking please so that dimwits, imbeciles, fools, cadres, retards, lunatics and dunderheads that fill up Zambia can have wisdom

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  15. Gifts to the President belong to the state if we have to do by precedence. If we all remember, Regina Chiluba was arrested for getting a TV from statehouse which was given to former President Chiluba as a gift. However, we all know that the land in question was not a gift from King Mswati but a kickback from Inyatsi for the contracts being awarded to them. The Zambian Director for Inyatsi was in those pictures with Lungu during the read dance. In short, the President is captured!!! Period!!

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Comments are closed.